White blood cells help protect the body from infection. Chemotherapy causes a low amount of white blood cells in the body. When this happens, it is important to avoid infection.
Call the clinic or hospital right away if any of these symptoms occur:
- A fever of 100.5 ºF or higher
- A general feeling of flu-like symptoms
- Painful or frequent urination
- Redness, pain, or swelling where the needle goes into a vein (IV site) or where surgery was done
- Shaking or chills
- Sore throat
What patients can do:
- Ask the doctor or nurse for advice before self-treating for hemorrhoids.
- Avoid children who recently have received "live virus" vaccines such as chickenpox and oral polio, since they may be contagious.
- Avoid contact with animal litter boxes and waste, birdcages, and fish tanks.
- Avoid crowds and sick people.
- Avoid standing water; for example, birdbaths, flower vases, or humidifiers.
- Brush teeth after each meal and at bedtime. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles.
- Avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol or peroxide.
- Check with the doctor or nurse before having dental work done.
- Check with the doctor before getting any immunizations such as flu or pneumonia shots.
- Keep skin clean, and avoid cuts and scratches. Report any changes in skin, including rashes, sores, and cuts.
- Regularly check inside the mouth for white spots on the lips, gums, or tongue. This is a sign of infection.
- Shave with an electric razor.
- Take your temperature regularly. Do not take temperature rectally, which can injure tissues inside the rectum. If there is a fever of 100.5ºF or higher, call the doctor or nurse right away.
- Use moisturizing lotion for dry skin.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Wear protective gloves when gardening or cleaning up after small children.
- Wear rubber gloves when washing dishes.